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Enhanced self-propulsion of a sphere-dimer in viscoelastic fluid

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Abstract

Micro-swimmers often have to encounter a medium that exhibits non-Newtonian behaviour. To understand the effect of complex environments on the propulsion dynamics of swimmers, here we have investigated a self-propelled sphere-dimer in a viscoelastic medium, using a coarse-grained hybrid mesoscopic simulation technique. We have shown that a viscoelastic fluid can result in the enhancement of swimming speed, as compared to the speed in a Newtonian fluid with the same viscosity. A non-linear response in the dimer velocity is seen for higher Péclet numbers in viscoelastic fluids. With help of various dynamical quantities, we have shown that the observed non-linear response of the directed velocity is associated with the micro-structural properties of the fluid. These include the alignment of the fluid elements and the density inhomogeneity around the moving dimer. The enhancement of self-propulsion velocity has been probed in detail, and the factors affecting the propulsion are identified.

Graphical abstract: Enhanced self-propulsion of a sphere-dimer in viscoelastic fluid

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Publication details

The article was received on 12 Nov 2018, accepted on 25 Jan 2019 and first published on 28 Jan 2019


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8SM02311E
Citation: Soft Matter, 2019, Advance Article

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    Enhanced self-propulsion of a sphere-dimer in viscoelastic fluid

    S. Sahoo, S. P. Singh and S. Thakur, Soft Matter, 2019, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C8SM02311E

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